Q: Kimi, your third pole this year, very close, on pole by two-thousandths
of a second from Michael...
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, it was very close. The car has been pretty good all
weekend. It wasn’t a clean lap. I had quite a big moment twice in Ascari, but it
was quick enough for pole and I think we have a good race car also.
Q: Just talk us through the build-up to here. How was the car in testing,
how are the Michelins and how do you feel the level of competition will be
KR: I think it’s going to be down to the tyres - which tyre will last
better and be strong in the race. But I think we had a very bad test. I wasn’t
testing, but they had some difficulties. The circuit was resurfaced and we
couldn’t find the grip, but now suddenly the car is much better and it’s back
like it usually is here. So far it has been a good weekend for us.
Q: Michael, it’s very close and it won’t have escaped your notice that
Fernando Alonso has qualified fifth t oday and you’re on the front row for
Ferrari. Your thoughts and how’s the car?
Michael Schumacher: The car is going very well. We were already quite
strong at the test, quite consistent, so it’s a comfortable position to be in.
Obviously, with a margin of two thousandths of a second it’s a tight battle and
would have been nice to have been on pole here at our home Grand Prix, but more
important to try and achieve (the win) tomorrow.
Q: Your thoughts going into the race with Kimi alongside you and Fernando
MS: Yeah, it’s better than having him beside, or in front, of me, so it’s a
more ideal situation. I’m obviously happy for Nick to be up on the podium here
today as well ? another German fellow ? and good as well for the position to
start the race, so a lot of promising moments we have in front of us.
Q: Nick, first time in the top three since Nurburgring last year and
continuing momentum for the BMW Sauber team…
Nick Heidfeld: Yeah, pretty unexpected. The test didn’t go too badly, but
as usually in testing it’s very difficult to really know where you stand. This
weekend has gone quite well for us and I have to say I think that was the best
qualifying lap I’ve done this year and it’s great to be in the top three.
Q: The car looks to be quick everywhere in terms of top speed, exit speed
and of course corner speed.
NH: Yeah, if you look at the sector times I think I lose a bit in the
second sector, that’s where you need down-force, but I opted for quite low
down-force so our top speeds are good and I think it suits our car.
Q: In the past, the team has been very quick in that final session building
up to qualifying but today you’ve managed to continue right through into
NH: Yeah, I think we’re seeing a change of trend there for the last couple
of races but actually I also find it hard to explain why that is. All year we
have been very strong in the morning but we haven’t managed to carry that over
to qualifying. But since a couple of races we managed to be quick as well (in
qualifying), still not as quick as in the morning, but it’s a step in the right
Q: Kimi, as Peter said, y ou were on pole last year but you were penalised
and your team-mate went on to win the race from pole, so how do you feel about
KR: I think last year we had a slightly stronger car, but it has been going
well this weekend and the car has been pretty good, so of course we do the best
we can to keep first place, but it will not be easy, but we will do all we can
and hopefully we can manage to do it.
Q: How easy was it to make the tyre choice? I understand Michelin have got
something like ten different types of tyre here?
KR: I wasn’t here in the test and Pedro was here and the test drivers, but
they chose a very good tyre and then of course we have two choices and it was
pretty easy for us to choose from those two and it has been working very well. I
think it is going to be a good tyre in the race and so we just need to wait and